Our Experience of Hospitals in Lima Peru
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It is every traveller’s nightmare, particularly those travelling with kids, to have to make a trip to a hospital whilst abroad. Unfortunately, it happened to us, but without a good outcome so don’t worry.
On our last day in Colombia, our youngest Alice, took it upon herself to eat a coin. Full-on swallowed it. I heard the metallic gulping sound and turn to see her grimacing as the coin made its way to her stomach.
After the initial panicking, we did some Googling and decided to wait a few days to see if it would make a reappearance. In the interim, we would keep a close eye on her and take her straight to the hospital if anything changed.
Three days later we were in Lima, Peru and there was still no sign of the coin and Alice had developed a bit of temperature and an upset stomach. Generally, she was fine in herself but we weren’t prepared to take any risks.
Which hospital did we use?
Whilst in Lima, we were staying in an Airbnb and our host was super helpful. We decided to ask for his advice on which hospital to go to as our minds were going foggy when researching it online.
We were recommended to go to Clinica Good Hope in Miraflores. As this was just around the corner and pretty much the only decent information we had to make a decision we decided to try it out.
Our Experience of Clinica Good Hope in Lima?
We had a great experience in this hospital. It was clean, well-organised and we received a great service from the team.
Being from the UK, we found the whole paying for the services before we could use it strange. It took me a while to adjust to not weighing up the cost of it against the alternative, which was my daughter’s ill-health.
We have travel insurance so I wasn’t worried about the cost. Although, I was insistent that they gave me copies of receipts with each service itemised.
When we arrived, we were seen really quickly by the triage team and almost immediately after that, we were sent through to see a paediatrician. This is despite being a low priority.
Within 15-20 minutes of arriving, we were waiting for an x-ray. This again happened wonderfully quickly and the team were very sweet with little Alice.
After we had the x-ray, we had a fairly long wait to see the paediatrician again. About an hour with little update. He said he wanted the x-ray looked at by a paediatric gastroenterologist, so I paid more money and waited. The gastroenterologist wanted another x-ray which was again quick but followed by another long wait.
On top of this, it was a one-parent only rule. This meant that I was left dealing with doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants on my own. In Spanish! Dan was waiting outside in the main waiting room with Emily.
How did we find the language barrier?
Very few people in the hospital spoke any English. The gastroenterologist had reasonable English but speaking about medical issues in a language other than your own in hard.
We were very fortunate when we first arrived to find a man, who was visiting with his sick wife, who offered to translate for us. He was so helpful and we were so grateful for his assistance.
In the times when we were left conversing on our own, I used Google translate on my phone and asked them to write things down. I find reading foreign languages easier than listening to them.
Which services did we use?
At the end of our experience, we had accessed the following services:
- Triage team for initial assessment
- Two x-rays
- Gastroenterology consultation
- Prescription medication
How much did it cost?
For the whole thing from start to finish, including a course of antibiotics, it came to £160. Personally, I didn’t think this was too bad. But that is probably because of all the horror stories I’ve read about healthcare in the USA.
We will be able to claim these costs back from our travel insurance provider. I have all the receipts safely stored to send to them.
What happened to Alice?
The second x-ray showed that the coin had moved into her small intestine. This meant that it would come out eventually.
Initially, they thought that the coin might be blocking the exit from the stomach to the intestines and hence ordered the second x-ray. But it was not.
She was given a course of antibiotics which sorted out her diarrhoea almost instantly and she was back to normal after that.
As for the coin, not quite sure where that is. At this point we assume that it has passed so to speak, but if not I’m going to call it an investment.
Hospitals in Peru are Safe
The one thing that I learnt from the experience is not too worry so much about hospitals, particularly in South America. They are clean, well-resourced and the team want to help you get better.
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.